One musician’s journey to capture emotions in song.
Have you ever heard a song that really struck a chord (pun intended) with you? One that emulates a very particular emotional state? Maybe you put on certain songs when you’re feeling sad, or when you want to get pumped up.
Music has the capacity to communicate beyond lyrics - to encapsulate and emulate feelings. It’s the aim of all musicians to try to harness this power, and none are more determined to achieve this than New York artist Stolar. MentalMusic was lucky enough to interview him, and you’ll get to hear that in next week’s episode, but first here’s an intro to who he is, what he does, and why.
Growing up in New Jersey and relocating recently to New York, Stolar’s life (like all others) has been full of emotional complication. His upbringing had a large influence on his music, especially his current EP, Raw Emotions. “I chose to represent this EP with the West Village because it’s the second place I grew up. I lived in New Jersey for most of my life and my musical influences, angst, passion and commitment to having life long friends comes from that place.” But his new home of New York has its own role to play: “I’m Jersey through and through. But, going to college at NYU and living in the West Village really shaped me artistically. I got to learn under some of the greatest living artists in NYC and to this day, when I wake up in the morning to create, those artists are breathing through me.”
Raw Emotions is essentially an 18 month-long collaborative anthology of emotion. “Every month I’m choosing a different emotion, writing, releasing music connected to that emotion and then collaborating with a wide range of artists to make new things inspired by that emotion.” The tracks range from pure joy, to self-discovery, to falling in love. In his own words, “These songs are for 10 hour drives, parties with friends, dealing with something overwhelming... crying by yourself, [and] anything else personal that I can’t imagine.”
Stolar’s motivation? “I want to make songs that feel like conversations now. To be inside of the music that resonates and makes people feel.” More broadly, he releases music for a cause you’ll all likely be familiar with: mental health awareness. Stolar is an active advocate for the erasure of stigma through music - an issue very close to home for us at MentalMusic. He’s worked with mental health advocacy groups like The Jed Foundation, Be Vocal, The Moth, Beat The Blues To Save Lives, and Love is Louder.
To those who listen to an support his music, Stolar says “The reaction has been beyond anything I could have imagined and I can’t thank everyone who’s been listening and following along with Raw Emotions enough.”
To hear the interview, be sure to listen to next week’s episode of MentalMusic, either on our website or SoundCloud.